5 of the most emotional moments in football
- Sometimes, it is not just about winning.
#4 Casillas departing Real Madrid and Xavi departing Barcelona
Iker Casillas and Xavi were the personal embodiments of their respective clubs. Having come through the academy and spending almost their entire career at the club, they were nothing short of legends, winning a vast array of trophies in their tenure. They were the faces of their clubs and the famed El Clasico for over a decade before they ended up leaving in the very same summer.
The two, combined, had an incredible 1492 appearances between them for their clubs. The decade they spent together in the Spanish national team was the most successful in the team’s history, winning a World Cup and 2 European Championships. They also hold the top 2 spots for highest ever appearances in the Champions League with Casillas still going strong.
It could be seen how much their clubs meant to them as they were in tears when they said their final goodbyes. But a key difference here is that Xavi left on top; he was treated ceremoniously throughout his last season with the club whereas Iker was frozen out at the Bernabeu. Despite captaining his team to the famed La Decima, Casillas was forced out of the club by President Florentino Perez.
Xavi accused Perez of being ungrateful to Casillas’ service to Madrid, a sentiment shared by fans and other players alike, with his departure leaving a sour taste in the mouth.